David Waltuck is a bit of a Manhattan chef legend—and for two very good reasons: He opened Chanterelle in 1979 when he was just 24 years old, and, remained one of New York’s finest dining destinations for three decades. After its 30-year run, Chantrelle closed in 2009 and in 2014 Waltuck opened élan—acontemporary American restaurant that strikes the balance between refined and whimsical. David’s cuisine draws on his experience and his interests, from classic French terrines to the Chinese takeout-inspired "General Tso’s Sweetbreads".
Waltuck’s enduring skill and originality have earned him international renown and numerous awards. He first began cooking while studying biological oceanography in Manhattan in the early 70s. After a brief stint at The Culinary Institute of America, Waltuck spent two years as lunch chef at La Petite Ferme in New York City, and then set out to open Chanterelle with his wife Karen in a then-remote section of SoHo.
Waltuck’s first book, Staff Meals from Chanterelle, debuted in July 2000. A second book, Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic, was published in October 2008. Among its many accolades, Chanterelle was the proud to be the recipient of two James Beard Awards, for Outstanding Restaurant in 2004 and Best Chef New York City in 2007. In the fall of 2014, élan received two stars from The New York Times.